Can I Live in My House While It Is Being Remodeled?

After months of planning the dream remodeling job in your home, you seem to have hit a roadblock: should you stay home and try to navigate around the workers while the project is ongoing, or should you look for another place to live (with the added expense that this may bring)?

Unless your home renovation is very extensive, you should be able to find a way to stay home while the work is being done and avoid the need to look for alternate accommodations with costs that may derail the whole project.

This may just mean that you have to be smart about steps you can take to stay home during the renovation. An added bonus of staying home is that you are always around to check the progress and answer any questions that may arise along the way.

Although it may be challenging, planning how this can work will result in a more comfortable and safe experience for you and your loved ones. Here are some tips on how to make the whole process much less stressful.

Create a Clear Separation

Working with your contractor, create two clearly defined areas: the space that is being remodeled and the area where you will live. This will result in a safer and cleaner work environment. Hanging plastic sheets from doorways will help prevent dust and other construction debris from entering the living area, helping keep pets and kids safe.

If possible, ask your contractor to install an air filtration system with a HEPA filter to clean the air constantly. Also, they should cover ducts around the work area to prevent dust from blowing throughout the house.

Create a Temporary Kitchen

Everyone has heard the saying that kitchens sell houses, and it may be the room that requires the most attention in your home. To survive for months without a kitchen, you need to create a temporary one. This will also prevent you from having to rely on deliveries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which can get expensive pretty quickly.

If you will be using your fridge, ask your contractor to plug it in your garage. You can also install a table or workbench and place a microwave and one or two burner hotplates to serve as a stove. Other small appliances should also be around, like a coffee maker, toaster, and any other gadget that you use frequently and is easy to move around.

As far as a sink, you may be able to have access to one in your laundry or utility room. The hose in the backyard could be the last resort. In both cases, remember that there is no garbage disposal, so be mindful of food scraps. If you cannot tolerate paper plates, you may have to invest in a portable dishwasher.

Work Around a Bathroom That is Being Remodeled

If you are lucky enough to have more than one bathroom, make sure the contractor does not start work on both of them at the same time so that you will always have access to one. If you have only one bathroom and it is being remodeled, you may have to ask your contractor to help you install a temporary shower someplace else.

Weather permitting, this can be done outdoors. As far as the toilet, ask your contractor to pull it off for a few hours while they are working around the area but place it back and leave it operational before they leave each day. You may have to live with less-than-ideal conditions for some days, but the end will definitely be worth it.

Living Through a Whole-House Remodel

If you are redoing the entire house and have no possibility of moving someplace else, talk to your contractor about this before the project takes off. They may be able to do the remodel in different stages, allowing you to use other parts of the house when some are being worked on.

This may call for the packing and unpacking of clothes in different rooms, setting up a temporary kitchen or bathroom, and making plans to spend more time out of your house until the project is finished.

You may also have to accept that if the remodel covers the whole house, there may have to be a couple of weeks when living there will not be possible. If this is done during the summer, you may want to take the kids on vacation and return to a newly remodeled home.

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